As another year wraps, it's time to take a look back to see what interested you most in the world of the Internet of Things. So here's a quick recap of what most of you read here, with links in case you want to catch up on something you may have missed. Of the 10 most read of this daily column, content that focused on location was the most viewed.
Right on the heels of information that police are seeking past voice data thought to be recorded on Amazon's Echo, comes word from the company that a huge number more of the devices are entering homes. Amazon said this holiday season was the best ever for it, with devices including Echo Dot and Amazon Echo topping the best-sellers list.
Amazon's Echo may become a star witness in a first-degree, hot-tub murder investigation. An Arkansas judge issued a search warrant for data inside an Amazon Echo in a case related to a homicide investigation being conducted by the Bentonville Police Department. In their request for the warrant, police said they have cause to want to search the Echo.
The end of the year is all about trends and predictions for the next year and the Internet of Things is making a grand appearance this time around. The latest predictions for 2017 involve IoT advances in technology that will change the way consumers, businesses and machines interact. Trends involve the growth of virtual assistant like Amazon's Alexa to new device formats, according to the trend predictions by IHS Markit.
There's plenty of shopping for personal smart devices this holiday season but many of the actual gifts will be going to their buyers. Holiday shopping started quite early this year, with slightly more than half (51%) of Americans having started by Oct. 28, according to the latest Mobile Insights Holiday Shopping Report by Nielsen. More than half (56%) of consumers had their eyes on consumer electronics and those include smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
The 2017 prediction for the internet of Things keep coming, with one of the latest dealing with what's in store for security. Any regular reader of the IoT Daily knows that security and privacy are continuously major IoT issues, especially as more devices enter consumer homes and become Internet-connected. In the not-so-good-news department, the new report, from cybersecurity company Trend Micro, sees the year ahead coming with an increased breadth and depth of attacks.
The Internet of Things involves automating many things but it also involves activities initiated by those connected things. One of those activities involves the automated buying of things, such as household supplies. For example, when my HP printer is running low on ink, HP mails me new cartridges in advance. Since the printer is on the network and I signed up for automatic ink replenishment when I bought it, HP does the work of tracking when I will need ink, saving me a trip to the local Staples.
The Internet of Things involves billions of connected objects and that number continues to be projected up. Last year, the five-year projection for the number of connected devices globally was 39 billion. That forecast, by Juniper Research, pegged the IoT opportunity in revenue and cost savings at $300 billion. Around the same time, IC Insights projected the number of connected objects five years out to be 25 billion and IDC was expecting it to be 30 billion.
One of the many promises of the Internet of Things is that the increasing number of smart and connected devices will make life a bit easier. The idea of smart gadgetry or appliances knowing when to start and shut themselves off could free consumers from some decision-making, at least conceptually. One of the most prolific devices and the primary IoT hub for now is the smartphone, which doesn't always drive consumer-free actions.
Brands and marketers may want to take a tip as to why people own smart or Internet-connected devices. The operative word here is useful. While the majority of U.S. consumers own at least one connected device, the top characteristic of the most popular devices is that they are useful above all else, based on a new study.